nother successful school year has begun at Ozarks, and we are all getting
back into our routines. This was the smoothest beginning to a fall semester
that I can remember, and I thank all of you for your patience and sense
of cooperation. This will be our best year yet!
Those of you who were gone for the summer returned
to some dramatic changes on campus. As we continue to improve and provide
a better environment for learning and living, change is inevitable.
But change is good.
The razing of Hurie Hall was spectacular to watch,
and the building of Walker Hall will be equally awesome. We were able
to save the massive columns from Hurie Hall, and they will stand majestically
for Walker Hall in the same manner they served Hurie. I am proud that
Walker Hall will truly blend the past with the future.
The renovation of MacLean Hall was an enormous and
intense project, but we finished on time. The improvements are dramatic,
and I have heard many positive comments from students. I am relieved
that we substantially improved the life-safety features in MacLean and
added four fire escapes. The new furniture, air conditioners, carpet,
and interior paint are the pièce de résistance.
Parking is improved with the addition of the Smith-King
parking area built to accommodate 110 vehicles, and it is already overflowing.
The new construction caused the loss of several trees, and I regret
that. However, our careful planning and conscientious design saved dozens
of hardwood trees, and for that I am grateful. The extra parking is
essential and, as we continue to grow, we need to plan for even more
And, finally, there is the Chapel. My dream, since
coming to Ozarks, has been to have an elevator installed. At last, the
dream is realized. We are now able to assist all who wish to worship
in the Chapel. Please also notice the new tile and general sprucing
up in the sanctuary.
Ozarks continues to be blessed. We are all privileged
to share in those blessings.
Dr. Rick Niece